What is “GDPR?” Will it Protect You?
On May 25, 2018, the European Union began to enforce the General Data Protection Regulation, a law approved two years ago by the EU Parliament. With this new regulation, there is now one set of data protection rules for all companies operating in the EU.
What if I don’t live in the EU?
The newly enforced GDPR gives EU citizens more rights regarding their personal data. As part of the new law, companies now have to respond to customer inquiries related to personal data. This is interesting because it is not yet certain if non-EU citizens can request information to be changed and/or removed. Forcing companies to communicate with customers about privacy concerns is the first step to address the growing question of personal data and how it is handled.
According to the European Commission, citizens in the EU now have the right to:
- Information about the processing of personal data
- Obtain access to the personal data held
- Ask for incorrect, inaccurate or incomplete personal data to be corrected
- Request that personal data be erased when it’s no longer needed or if processing it is unlawful
The full list can be found here, but the most important points have been included above. To exercise these rights, EU citizens should contact the company or organization processing their personal data.
However, non-EU and EU citizens alike should use a service like Wiperts when it comes to handling leaked information. There are many different companies to contact when your information shows up on Google, Yahoo, Bing, or other random websites that provide display your private info (like white pages).
The less that shows up about your personal life, the harder it is for criminals to steal your identity. Criminals can easily distribute your information without even using a photocopier. The digital age has enabled instantaneous duplication and sharing of private information. One website with your intimate details is bad enough because it can spawn other websites with similar information. Cleaning up your internet footprint is definitely worthwhile. Aside from criminals, private eye detectives may purchase information about you because someone is trying to stalk you or find out more about your personal life. These things do happen outside of television shows and movies.
One law cannot rule over all
Though international companies try to be compliant with GDPR, data crosses borders and servers every day. You may be able to submit a request to companies operating within the EU… but what about websites based elsewhere? Having a professional service like Wiperts alleviates the stress and hassle of contacting multiple companies in different countries. The internet is called the world wide web for a very good reason.
Big companies have to maintain a good image in the public, otherwise their company will decrease in value. If you don’t want your personal information showing up on Google, then you’re not alone. Millions of people have complained just like you, which is why Google and other companies now offer a way to remove private information from their search engines. Don’t make the mistake of thinking it will be easy though. These huge companies might not directly address every complaint, even if your life’s details are on display to the whole world. Big data is valuable to them and their advertising partners, so removing your information slowly might be in their best interests but definitely not yours.
Complaining to a company that provides free products and services usually goes nowhere. “You get what you pay for” is a classic phrase for a reason.
Theory versus reality
In theory, GDPR sets the gold standard for online privacy laws. In reality, many legal systems are still governed by judges, lawyers, and government representatives that didn’t grow up with technology. Taking action yourself by consulting professionals like Wiperts will have faster and better results than relying on government(s) or mega corporations to take care of you. Large organizations and institutions move slowly, whereas professionals can be relied on to deliver timely results.
GDPR was passed two years ago and recently enforced at the beginning of the year. The law moves slowly whereas technology evolves at breakneck speeds. Relying on the government to save you from criminals isn’t very reliable unfortunately. Identity fraud victims often find themselves in murky waters for months, if not years. Social media websites have lulled people into sharing everything and thereby profiting from this information exploitation. But when Facebook, Equifax, or any other major company gets hacked, how often do the free users of their services get compensated? It takes a court battle and is like squeezing blood from a stone.
While dealing with identity fraud, the money stolen continues to lose value due to inflation. Your credit may be ruined and your plans to open a business or buy a new home may be significantly hindered due to subpar lending rates. Having money stolen that you don’t even have hurts doubly, because that money could have been used to pay debts or have been invested into income generating investment instruments.
The two most expensive things in life? Paying the government or lawyers to help you after something bad happens to you. Both rely on large sums of money in order to operate. Instead of hoping that identity theft doesn’t happen to you, you should try using Wiperts.com to see if your private information is on the web. Preventative maintenance is better than having to pay big bucks to fix something that has gone horribly wrong. Wiperts does preventative maintenance by cleaning your internet footprints. You don’t want someone following your online footsteps all the way to your house or bank account.